Managing Data Security is a major concern for many small businesses operating in this technological world…
In this post we cover a few basic steps and tools you can use to keep your data safe. Data security is a big concern but it doesn’t have to be a big cost or a big deal to reduce your risks.
Create strong unique passwords: long words with a mixture of numbers, letters, and symbols. Not passwords that in any way relate to your personal life e.g. names of Pets, partner’s names, schools attended. Professional hackers can suss out your address, your regular habits, family and friends.
Please don’t use the same password repeatedly to access all your applications. Create different passwords for different applications. If this a struggle then we suggest you use a Password Management Service, and you’ll only need to remember one password!
You can read more about them – here are some Password Management Sites that have been rated highly, to review:
We personally use Last Pass as you can imagine we have a whole heap of passwords that we need to keep track of. And of course keeping our clients data secure is one of our top priorities.
A warning here: Your web browser e.g. Chrome, Firefox etc – may offer “password managers” features. However, they are not secure because often these browsers are just storing your passwords within your computer in an unencrypted form. Which means others can get into your computer may be able to view them. Unless you are able to encrypt the files on your hard drive, they are not recommended.
Screensavers are great:
Use your screensaver. If not active on your laptop or device or distracted on another job for a short period of time, say ten minutes, it closes down applications behind a security screen, then you need to re-enter your password to reopen it. It’s easy to use, pops up when you’re distracted elsewhere, especially when you forget to turn off your computer. Use it!
Family access to your own devices:
This is a hard one, for family, but try avoid sharing passwords for personal and financial applications on your device. Banks, for Online Banking and other applications like Microsoft Office offer multi-user access with different passwords, so make use of them, and encourage family to create their own passwords if they use your devices for accessing applications.
If you have kids using your computer and have programs that you don’t want them messing with, create control over your PC with an admin role. You can restrict them to using only certain programs – check your computer security settings for this feature.
Know your websites:
Be aware of the security settings of websites when you are surfing or reading or even buying goods online. URLs beginning with ‘https:’ are safer but there is still no guarantee – there are many imitators.
Look for Site Identity buttons when doing important work – when you are accessing a website, they show a green padlock icon in the beginning of their address. This verifies you are accessing a secure website address, and not an imitation site. This is very important when you are logging into banking/ Financial or your businesses’ Accounting software websites. Be vigilant.
Software Security Updates:
Software & Security developers like Microsoft, Google, spend millions of dollars working on security applications to keep their systems secured, and security updates are always being done to ensure your software is up to date against security threats. So make sure your computer is set to accept upgrades, to ensure your security software is up to date against new hacker or virus threats.
There are many more measures to protect unauthorised access data on your Devices, and we’ve covered the basic ones above. There are other options available to further secure against access into your computer’s files:
- Disabling writing to USB Drives on certain files, or folders to prevent users copying your files.
- Restrict Users from Using Cut, Copy, Paste, and Delete
- User Account Control to Protect Your PC (prevents unauthorised changes to your PC)
- Putting data in an Encrypted File Vault (moves your files into a locked vault).
We hope that covers some of the basics of data security and gives you some steps to follow and tools to implement that can help you keep your data safe. Do you have any great tips you would like to share? Leave a comment below with your number one tip.